Easter Staycations Boom As Center Parcs, Haven and Butlins Rocket in Price

Easter Staycations Boom As Center Parcs, Haven and Butlins Rocket in Price. Wikipedia

Easter Staycations Boom As Center Parcs, Haven and Butlins Rocket in Price.

British families planning an Easter staycation are facing soaring prices of rental cottages with some coming in at over three times higher than a fortnight earlier. Holiday camps Center Parcs, Haven and Butlins have all hiked their prices for Easter as they plan to reopen in March despite concerns that the national lockdown will still be in place. It is thought that optimism over the vaccination program is causing the surge together with the travel restrictions in and out of the UK

Britons desperate for some respite from the coronavirus crisis are looking closer to home as fears mount over the future of foreign holidays this summer. At Center Parcs in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, a two-bed Woodland Lodge for seven nights from March 19 for £978, while from April 2 it is £2,498 – a rise of £1,520 or 155 per cent

It comes as passengers arriving in England from high-risk coronavirus hotspots look set to be made to quarantine in hotels to limit the spread of new variants. The Prime Minister will discuss the proposals – designed to ensure people follow self-isolation rules – with senior ministers at the ‘Covid Operations’ committee today.

Holiday price hikes at Butlins, Center Parcs and Haven sites 

(These figures were found today, Jan. 26, for a family of four staying for four nights)

BUTLINS – BOGNOR REGIS

Gold Apartment; 2-bed, sleeps four

  • March 19 – £318
  • April 2 – £1,353
  • Difference: £1,035 – 325%
  • July 12 – £1,048
  • July 26 – £1,701
  • Difference: £653 – 62%

CENTER PARCS – WOBURN FOREST

Woodland Lodge; 2-bed; sleeps four

  • March 19 – £978
  • March 29 – £2,498
  • Difference: £1520 – 155%
  • July 12 – £1,608
  • August 2 – £2,178
  • Difference: £570 – 35%

HAVEN – RIVIERE SANDS

Standard caravan; 2-bed, sleeps four

  • March 19 – £186
  • April 2 – £502
  • Difference: £316 – 170%
  • July 12 – £623
  • July 26 – £1,218
  • Difference: £595 – 96%

Holiday operators regularly hike prices for Easter to make the most of high demand, but this year it seems extremely high compared to a few weeks before. At Butlins Bognor Regis in Somerset for example, a Gold Apartment for four people is on offer for a week from March 19 for £318, but £1,353 from April 2 – an increase of £1,035 or 325 per cent.

The same room is available for a week from July 12 for £1,048 – rising to £1,701 from July 26, after the summer holidays start, an increase of £653 or 62 per cent. Butlins is currently offering summer holidays for ‘£270 per break’. At the same point last year, an archived version of its website shows it was offering summer holidays ‘from £235 per break’. This means its minimum price is up £35 or 15 per cent at the same point this year.

Meanwhile, at Center Parcs in Woburn Forest, Bedfordshire, a two-bed Woodland Lodge for seven nights from March 19 for £978, while from April 2 it is £2,498 – a rise of £1,520 or 155 per cent. The same accommodation at the site for seven nights this summer is £1,608 from July 12 or £2,178 from July 26 – an increase of £570 or 35 per cent.

As for Haven, a standard caravan for seven nights at its Riviere Sands resort in Cornwall is on sale from March 19 for £186 or from April 2 for £502 – a rise of £316 or 170 per cent. Looking ahead to summer, the same property for the same time length is £623 from July 12 or £1,218 from July 26 – a difference of £595 or 96 per cent.

There are also fears prices could rise further if the VAT cut for hospitality and staycation accommodation from 20 to 5 per cent ends as planned on March 31. As for Airbnb, a cottage in Portesham, Devon, is going for £737 for seven nights from March 20, but £889 from April 3 – a difference of £152 or 21 per cent.

A barn via the same website in Helston, Cornwall, is up for £973 for a week from March 20, or £1,068 from March 3 – a difference of £95 or 10 per cent.

Meanwhile, a survey found most Britons have come to terms with not going abroad in the foreseeable future, with only 12 per cent planning to do so. The figures haven’t moved much from summer and autumn last year. They peaked in July when 17 per cent of people planned to go abroad. The polling by YouGov found younger people are still more likely to say they’re going on holiday abroad.

Even Boris Johnson’s holiday cottage is fully booked until October! 

The property where Boris Johnson stayed last August during his summer staycation has only one week left to book until October – and that is next month when a lockdown is still likely. Old School House near Kinlochbervie in the Scottish Highlands is set in splendid isolation with beautiful views over the islands of Rona and Raasay.

 


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Tony Winterburn

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